Self-exclusion; “a facility for those that have decided that they wish to stop gambling for at least six months and wish to be supported in their decision to stop.” Gambling Commission.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) aims to implement further measures to deal with the inefficacy of current self-exclusion provisions that are in place.
The decision to do so follows an investigation by a BBC reporter, Rob Cave. Cave paid a visit to the UK town of Grimsby to evaluate the self-exclusion schemes that are currently in place. The analysis found that the current provisions were not stringent enough to assist a problem gambler curbing their gameplay.
Grimsby was chosen because of its dense concentration of betting shops. The current provisions set out by the UKGC means photographic images of problem gamblers are circulated between land-based betting shops. The focus of this practice is to guarantee the player is asked to leave the casino by a member of staff, however, the documentary proves this isn’t always followed closely.
Cave proved this by pretending to be a problem gambler and enrolled himself in the self-exclusion scheme. His image was circulated to 21 different betting shops in Grimsby and on arrival, only 5 turned him away. This lax attitude towards the scheme has led to the GC question the efficacy of the provision.
Identifying Problem Gamblers
The Association of British Bookmakers described the results as ‘disappointing’ and said Cave was a stranger to the employees. The majority of players are locals and the employees can identify them easily.
Self-Exclusion and Online Casinos
Online casinos are now promoting self-exclusion among self-confessed problem gamblers. If you choose to remove yourself from gambling at online casinos, you fill out a form and submit it to the casino. Once upon a time, players thought they may be able to move from casino to casino. However, now much more stringent policies have been implemented and the casino will circulate it to partner online casinos.
Following this report, the GC will indefinitely look at ways of improving the current self-exclusion scheme at both online casinos and land-based sportsbooks.